Well, no need to pressure me, I fully admit it: I am hooked to Indian films! Actually, it is more about Indian television soaps, and not even in the plural. At the moment I am just infatuated with this series from 2005 called Saloni, which is the name of the main female character.
Do I like the obvious musical choice, which accompany the villain’s every move? No! Am I fond of the monologues by which we learn the intimate thoughts of the protagonists? Not so much! I don’t even appreciate the exaggerated acting, nor the horrible dubbing. But the fact is, every weekday, I run home from work in order not to miss the next episode!
I am so old school, I know. I just like watching series on TV, one episode at a time. Waiting a whole day, before knowing what happens next, plays a big part in my enjoyment. Watching a full season on my computer, as people do nowadays, is not something that I enjoy as much.
I am wondering what caught my interest in this particular storyline as those Indian films were available to me long before, but I never attempted to really watch one.
I think what drew my attention to it, is a question on one of the popular Nigerian blogs (Linda Ikeji’s, Bella Naija’s or Stella Dimoko Korkus’, I can’t remember which one) asking visitors if they were still watching Nigerian films. One of the readers replied that she had since left Africa Magic (a group of channels running Nigerian movies on satellite TV) and she was now glued to Zee channel and its Indian films.
So, out of curiosity, I went to see what it was all about and I stumbled upon Saloni. I watched a random episode of this endless saga with more than 800 hundred episodes (available on YouTube) and … I am hooked!
What is the attraction of such television soap for me? Well, the reasons are many. I will try to list the main ones, but I caught the story in the middle of it, with no idea how it starts. So this is just about first impressions:
First of all, I am curious about people’s culture and for example, I was surprised to see that, in Saloni as in other few Indian series I had a glimpse of, the whole family is living under the same roof: the grand-parents, the parents, all the sons with their wives and children and they take their meals together!
I can imagine the stress of living all your married life in the same house with your brothers and sisters in law, not to talk about your mother in law! Not that I have any complaint about mine!
I know that in some African countries it can be the case too, but at least, every woman will have her own kitchen and cook for herself and her husband.
That situation would be unbearable to me and in fact, the television drama shows a lot of mean tricks going on in the household!
I must say that some of the characters, female too, are shown living in their own apartments.
However, I don’t know to what extent a television soap or any other film will portray the reality of a country. If people were to judge Nigerians based on some of their cheap movies only, Nigeria will pretty much be reduced to a country of bad weaves and husbands’ snatchers!
Along the same vein, quite a few times, in those Indian series, I saw maids or outside girls getting pregnant by one of the married man in the house, and this other woman is always so quickly and easily welcomed into the family that it makes me wonder if that is really how it goes.
Another thing I didn’t expect is the number of religious rites that is being performed at home. Rituals and prayers to the goddess seem like an important part of the Hindi life. And it was quite amazing to watch how they were throwing coloured powder at each other while celebrating a religious festival.
A more trivial detail is that you will see the women preparing the vegetables in their elegant parlour! Do they actually do that or is it just the production trying to cut cost by suppressing the kitchen?
The second reason I like this television drama is that I love to see their fabulous outfits!
Nahar, who is Saloni’s husband, is played by this handsome actor who looks so good in both a traditional attire and a suit (so much so that he could easily compete with the smart lawyers of the series Suits!)
Well, I could still add other reasons to my infatuation with the series Saloni, one of them being that Saloni, the main character, is a positive feminine figure, but this post is too long already. I will speak about it some other time!